We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Islay for a day

Ayrshire, Scotland
Level Contributor
10 posts
57 reviews
Save Topic
Islay for a day

Taking the car to islay for the day in June arriving port Ellen at 12.05 and leaving port askaig at 18.00. Not interested in whisky. Can anyone recommend any highlights we should see during our time in Islay, anywhere nice to eat, a nice beach or walk along the beach. I know our time is limited so I want to make every minute count! Thanks in anticipation. :-)

Tyne and Wear...
Level Contributor
664 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Islay for a day

As you are arriving at Port Ellen i would first go up to see the Kildalton Cross which is located approx 7 miles outside of Port Ellen,as you exit the ferry terminal turn right and head for Ardbeg which is approx 2 miles from the ferry terminal.Approx 6 miles outside of Port Ellen is the Oa located here is the monument to sailors of 2 boats sunk in the first world war,on a clear day you can see over to Ireland.If you decide on this you will need sturdy footwear as there is a walk across mooorland and is approx one and a half milesfrom the car park .If any of the family are interested in golf the world famous Machrie golf club is located approx 4 miles from Port Ellen.After this in Bowmore there is the round church Bowmore is approx 10 miles from Port Ellen.11 mile further on is the lovely village of Port Charlotte located here is the museum of Islay life.Doubling back on the way to Port Askaig is Finlaggan (the seat of the Lord of the Isles in bygong days)Beaches As you exit Port Ellen on your left on the far side of the bay Kilnaughton and The Singing Sands are located,on the way to this location you could instead take the road to Kintra which has the beginning of the big strand which is a beach of approx 7 miles long ,adjacent to this beach is the Machrie Golf Course.On the way to Port Charlotte there is the Strand which is located just outside of Bridgend.Further afield at Kilchoman is Machir Bay which is our favourite.You have a lovely walk at Gruinart,circular takes in Ardnave.

Eating places,Lunch can be had at Ardbeg distillery which has good reviews,A recently opened establishment has opened up beside Bowmore DistilleryMctaggart swimming pool(sorry Icannot remember its name) This was given a good review by the illeach which is Islays fortnightly paper.Islay hotel Port Ellen and The Port Charlotte Hotel,Port Charlotte both have good reviews

Basically you will have approx 5 1/2 hours on Islay as you have to check in at Port Askaig 30 mins before the ferry leaves,you will not have enough time to visit most of the locations given,it depends on your interests.

You could visit Finlaggan on your way to the ferry ,the site itself is open all year round,the visitor centre closes 4.30 pm mon/sat

Bar meals can be had at the Port Askaig Hotel which is located at the ferry terminal

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
7,112 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Islay for a day

Islay is a big island and you only have a few hours so you can't cover it all.

I'd start by heading north up the main road from Port Ellen, past the airport and in to Bowmore, where you can pick up leaflets at the Tourist Info office in the main square.

There are various places to eat there, ranging from basic cafes to the Harbour Inn, which is very good and with prices to match. But my suggestion would be to drive on to Bridgend and have lunch in the bar at the Bridgend Hotel, which is very nice and decent value. Alternatively, continue round the shore of Loch Indaal to Port Charlotte, which is probably the most attractive village on Islay, and where you can eat well in the bar of the Port Charlotte Hotel or (a bit less posh but still good) the Lochindaal.

After that, you could visit Portnahaven at the end of the road, or one or two of the fine beaches on the west coast, such as Machir or Saligo. There is an RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinart. On your way to Port Askaig for the return ferry, allow time to turn off the road and visit Finlaggan, ancient home of the Lords of the Isles. It's signposted off the main road to Port Askaig.

Ayrshire, Scotland
Level Contributor
10 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Islay for a day

Thank you both so much for taking so much time replying to my post. I really appreciate the detail in your responses. Some great ideas. I'm going to print them off and take it with us. Thank you. Our time is very limited but now I know how we can spend it. Much appreciated. :-)

Edited: 05 June 2014, 23:08
4. Re: Islay for a day

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 07 June 2015, 21:15
Get answers to your questions about Islay
More Islay Topics